Eastham. July 22, 2019. Wild Care, a wildlife rehabilitation center located in Eastham, currently has two juvenile Bald Eagles in their care.
On Friday, July 18th, Wild Care received a call for an eagle that was behaving abnormally in Harwich. The bird was frequently flying to the ground, and “chewing on beach towels” on Punkhorn Rd. Wild Care Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant, Jayne Fowler, went out to the location and rescued the bird. Upon examination at Wild Care, this juvenile Bald Eagle had anemia, intestinal parasites, and was showing signs of starvation. The bird has a federal band, and was banded by MassWildlife staff as a chick in the nest on 5/14/19 in Dighton, MA, according to Andrew Vitz, State Ornithologist, MassWildlife. The bird was stabilized, and received fluids and liquid nutrition.
On Saturday, July 19th,Wild Care’s Helpline was flooded with calls about a low-flying eagle on Pond Road in Truro. The bird was seen crashing into someone’s deck. Wild Care Volunteer Peter Kosewski arrived on the scene, but the bird was strong enough to fly, and quickly flew across the pond. The following day, Elizabeth Brooke of the Friends of Cape Wildlife arrived at the site after receiving a phone call to their Wildlife Hotline that the bird was down on the ground. Fortunately, she was able to throw a blanket over the bird and bring it to Wild Care. Upon examination, this juvenile Bald Eagle was also suffering from anemia and showed signs of starvation. Furthermore, the bird has an injury to its left eye. It is uncertain if the injury is related to the crash landing. Local veterinarian Louise Morgan, DVM will be assessing the bird’s eye this week. Both birds are in stable condition at this time, and are now receiving a diet of Menhaden, Smelt and Capelin.
“The last time we had an eagle at our facility was in 2012. To have two in our care, is unprecedented!” states Stephanie Ellis, Wild Care’s Executive Director. Bald Eagles are making a comeback on Cape Cod after populations were decimated in Massachusetts due to DDT, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In fact, just this year, a Bald Eagle nest was documented in Brewster. The first confirmed Bald Eagle nest in a century. According to Andrew Vitz, the eagle from Truro, which is significantly smaller than the Harwich eagle, could possibly have traveled here from as far away as Florida. It is not uncommon for young eagles to head north from Florida at this time of year, in search of food. Young eagles from Florida tend to be substantially smaller than eagles from New England nests. Being inexperienced hunters, young birds may become debilitated if they cannot secure adequate food sources.”
“These two birds are stable and we are hopeful for a full recovery,” states Ellis. “Wild Care has an extremely large raptor aviary that meets the State of Massachusetts’ minimum size requirements, to house and condition eagles for release. I am extremely grateful we have great accommodations for these magnificent birds, and that we have support from local veterinarians and MassWildlife. We are hoping for the best, and hope to get these incredible creatures back on the wing, as soon as possible.”
***Wild Care kindly requests that you do not visit their facility or call for updates on the eagles. Wild Care staff are tending to many sick and injured animals during this busy season. Please check their Facebook page, “Wild Care Cape Cod” for daily updates on the eagles’ status. Please note that the condition of an animal can change at any time.